Serving from rest

THEREFORE -{because you have everything you need from a heavenly Father who loves you and hears your requests} - "THEREFORE, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them..." Matthew 7:12

We are free to serve when we realize that our needs are met in Him.

I want to serve from a place of resting in His grace and not my performance.

When Israel wandered so long, it was because of disobedience, fueled by unbelief. We can guess it was their natural response, to be distrustful of a Good Master who promised rest in a new land and freedom from the unending making of bricks. When all you've known is slavery and quotas, you get nervous with a seeming idleness.

When we don't believe God is good and gracious and that He knows our needs before we even have a hunger pang, we tend towards disobedience. We scramble for manna as an insurance against want. We grumble about the better life we could have and forget the marks of slavery, the harsh task masters, the unbearable work load. We don't believe the concepts of rest and trust, because everything comes by hard work.

We can't serve from a place of rest when we are so concerned about our own particular needs.

If I give, where will the groceries come from?

If I go, who will take care of what I leave behind?

If I am vulnerable, who will cover the broken mess of me that will be exposed?

Most fear - maybe all of it - is rooted in unbelief. We don't believe our needs are significant enough to merit God's attention, or we don't believe what His word says about seeking first His kingdom and gaining all we need along the way. We don't believe what we have is enough, is a gift, is for others, is for His glory.

We don't believe and we don't enter His rest.

And because this is the case, in a world where everyone’s deity says to do, do, do, the God of Israel says to stop. The air we breathe of this fallen world is anxiety: Keep busy and stay nervous. And it’s into this mess, striking through the smog like flashes of lightening, the fundamental message of God’s salvation resounds: Trust me and rest."   Jonathan Parnell, desiringgod.org

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I want to serve from a place of resting in His grace and not my performance.

So when the opportunity to serve comes and I look at my dirty floor, the burgeoning pile of laundry, the dust and dishes and duties I'd have to leave behind, it's a choice to walk out of the slavery of serving my own  glory.

In an interview with Kat Lee, Elisa Pulliam says that our overflowing laundry baskets are signs of a life lived. Serving from rest might mean we let the house go for a time in order to keep up with the time that is going, the kids that are growingand the real life that needs servants and not slaves.

And we look at the laundry piles as evidence that real life is happening here.

I want to serve my family and friends and complete strangers from the gifts God has given me, not from some gifting I'm greedily grasping at, one that is not my own but another's. The restless run in dizzy circumference around Christ, the center, and they gobble up the works meant for others, and we all lose that way.

Serving from rest means knowing opportunity when it comes and recognizing the good works prepared beforehand, because the Church is not a many-headed bride. Some serving is for hands and feet and hearts sitting still.

When I look at the ways others are serving and compare my service with theirs, it's hard to rest. Someone is always doing more, doing different, doing better.

I want to serve from the rest that comes from pleasing Christ first, others second, myself last. And the crazy contrast is this list that doesn't leave me last but circles around again and again - Christ, others, me, Christ, others, me, Christ...all my needs are met in Him.

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We just finished our church's weekend-long Creation Camp, where 100 or so kids camped out for 2 days and nights, played water games, did skits, learned new songs and dances, and are were generally bathed in Jesus and His love.

For the first time in 17 years I had no responsibilities at camp. None. I showed up only a few times to check on my youngest and to deliver missing gear to my other children.

did donate my three oldest children as counselors/sign makers/garbage emptiers/general help. But I was able to come and go as I pleased with no one depending on me at all. It was a mix of guilt and pleasure.

I rested from serving, I suppose.

Other posts in this series:

From a Place of Rest

Parenting From Rest